Varsity applies grandma’s wisdom for safe drinking water needs

Varsity applies grandma’s wisdom for safe drinking water needs.
For many of us, the sight of water stored in copper vessels reminds us of our grandmothers’ homes.
Recognising copper’s potent use in removing pathogens from water and making it fit to drink, the city-based Transdisciplinary University has launched TamRas, a low-cost copper-based water purification device for rural areas.
Reasearchers at TDU, led by Padma Venkat, principal investigator, studied the effect of storing water overnight in copper vessels.
She found that when water, inoculated with colony forming units of Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio cholerae, was stored overnight at room temperature in copper vessels, the organisms were no longer recoverable when cultured, compared to water stored in control glass bottles under similar conditions.
The results of this study were published in the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development in 2011.
The team designed several iterations keeping in mind cost and utility, until arriving on the present design.
“The final device had to be simple and sustainable, without complicated parts that need repair or replacement,” said Dr. Venkat.
The project had to be scalable and community-driven to be successful.
“Women in rural areas spend a major portion of the day in solving the problem of safe water,” said Hari Ramamurthy, advisor to TDU.

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